Let’s Talk about Hawkeye Episode 1-5
Did you watch Partners, Am I Right? Hawkeye episode 1-4 provided plenty of surprises and one shocking cameo.
Now, we’re ready to discuss episode 1-5, Ronin. First, however, I MUST warn you. If you haven’t seen episode 1-4, you will get spoiled here.
So, let’s talk about Hawkeye episode 1-5, the one with yet another stunning appearance from a Marvel character.
PS: I’m also about to spoil something from Black Widow. You’re warned about that, too.
The MCU’s interconnectivity is becoming a problem for people who don’t keep up!
Toward the end of Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff’s younger “sister,” Yelena Belova, took on a new assignment.
She had uncovered a formula that would undo the chemical brainwashing of Black Widow agents.
Belova willingly accepted the role of savior, going out into the world and spraying other Black Widows with this red mist.
This episode starts with such an encounter. Belova and one of her allies infiltrate a woman’s home and spray her with gas, only to realize she’s not enthralled now.
Instead, Ana lives in a mansion and complains that Belova has ruined her $20,000 rug with the chemical compound.
After a while, the women talk, wherein Ana reveals that she’s paid for everything via “killing for money.”
Yelena excuses herself and goes to the bathroom, where she stares into a mirror. Then, clearly not feeling well, she prepares to splash water in her face.
Then, Yelena Belova turns to dust.
Yes, this would-be Avenger proves a victim of Thanos’ Snap. After a deft bit of CGI, Belova exits the room.
She is very much alive but understandably confused. She points her weapon at a man and child before Ana reveals herself from the other room.
Belova remains in the same place where she had vanished, only it’s five years later.
A conversation unfolds, and I must nitpick a bit here. From the perspective of Ana and her husband, something remarkable has occurred.
A dead woman has just reincarnated in their bathroom. They’re…oddly complacent about something impossible to reconcile.
At this point, nobody would have known about the pivotal events of Avengers: Endgame. So, these people should have plenty of questions.
Instead, Ana calmly offers career advice in the burgeoning field of assassination.
Hawkeye couldn’t make the whole episode about this, but it comes across as callous.
Before Yelena’s dusting, she dreamt of a Sex in the City type of life with her older sister, Natasha.
That reunion was likely mere days away from happening when Yelena suddenly lost five years.
Soon afterward, Yelena learns that her sister sacrificed her life to save the planet. And Yelena blames Clint Barton.
So, everything that happens during the first few minutes of the episode explains how we reached the rooftop fight at the end of the last episode. Past is prologue.
Plenty happens throughout today’s story, but I want to emphasize that it all builds to something laudable.
We’ve got a new generation of Hawkeye and Black Widow…and these two people possess tremendous chemistry as well.
— best of hailee steinfeld (@archiveshailees) December 15, 2021
How do we get to that point? First, Kate Bishop slinks home after her humiliating defeat on that rooftop.
Her mother finds her, wherein Kate confesses that Clint didn’t view her as a hero and sent her away. She adds that she doesn’t perceive herself that way, either.
Then, Kate makes a mistake. She spills the beans about Jack’s business interests. Her mother promises to look into them…but should we trust her?
Simultaneously, a similar conversation takes place between Maya Lopez and the man who seems to be in love with her, Kazi.
He tends to her wounds, just as Eleanor Bishop has treated Kate. Kazi pleads with Maya to end her quest for vengeance.
At this moment, they might as well be Jon Snow and Ygritte, only it’s the dude likely to die this time.
Maya promises to stop after she has killed Ronin. So, there’s that.
Finally, we get to the integral episode from the series thus far. Kate Bishop meets Yelena Belova.
Bonding over Mac and Cheese
How do they meet? Well, Yelena has invaded Kate’s home. The Black Widow had done her homework and knew where Kate lived.
Humorously, Belova always calls Kate Bishop by her full name, which the latter woman eventually deduces is a thinly veiled power move.
Kate’s out of her depth here. She’s only been living in the world of super-beings for a week. Belova’s been a terror since she was 8.
Oddly, the Black Widow shows nothing but interest and excitement during the conversation. It’s her first time in New York City, and she seeks tourist advice!
— florence pugh gifs (@flossiegifs) December 15, 2021
For her part, Kate continues to show interest in uniquely powerful people, of which Belova is undeniably one.
The parallels continue as Clint comes up to Grills’ house to take back Pizza Dog. The two men don’t bond per se, as Clint’s too tired.
Still, Grills offers his couch to Clint, and the Avenger falls asleep in minutes. Also, Pizza Dog eats some pizza, and all is right with the world.
I’ll go ahead and spoil you on next week’s season finale: Clint wins Christmas when he arrives for the holiday with his gift, a new family dog!
For now, the dog is scoring points for Kate Bishop, though. Belova acknowledges that Kate’s selfless act in rescuing the dog impressed her.
Obviously, Belova isn’t threatened by Kate – she makes that abundantly clear – but she likes the woman.
Then, we get to the fireworks factory. Belova mentions that she is Romanoff’s sister. Kate doesn’t believe her at first…and why would she?
After a time, she does, though. Then, the Black Widow clarifies that she intends to kill the Hawkeye, Clint Barton.
Moving the Pieces around the Board
The scene between Bishop and Belova confirms that Marvel has nailed the casting with Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh. They’re perfect together.
From a storyline perspective, they’re working at cross purposes, though. Bishop trains under Clint Barton, whom Belova has accepted a contract to kill.
Yes, as the post-credits scene of Black Widow hinted, Belova has gone dark, at least in terms of assassination. She blames Clint for her sister’s death.
Humorously, Kate expresses happiness that she didn’t kill Belova on the rooftop, which busts up the home invader.
Black Widow…doesn’t respect the fledgling Hawkeye. Expect that to change over time.
For her part, Kate staunchly defends Hawkeye, suggesting that Belova should investigate whoever hired her to kill him.
The women part as…friends? Alas, the Black Widow leaves a final warning that Kate Bishop should not get in her way again.
Soon afterward, the authorities handcuff Jack Duquesne and take him to the police station for questioning.
Jack’s so suave, and the character gets the best possible defense about his business relationships: “I’ve never worked a day in my life.” It’s so deliciously patrician.
Kate arrives in time to watch him being carried off and hugs her mom sympathetically. Hold that thought…
Clint stands at an Avengers memorial – there must be dozens of them in NYC by now – and speaks kind words to his lost friend, Natasha.
Meanwhile, Kate sits in her room and decides who she wants to be in life. You can see where this is going…
After two more comic relief scenes, Barton sets up a meeting with Maya Lopez alone at Fat Guy Used Cars. They’re all but screaming it, folks.
The Big Reveal
Clint takes a moment to call Laura Barton. She quickly recognizes that he’s not asking for permission, absolution, or the like. Instead, he just needs to hear her voice.
The night’s events might go sideways, and they both know it. Thankfully, they don’t, though.
Clint quickly disables the Tracksuit Mafia guys, including Kazi, before he battles Lopez. Yes, Clint’s wearing his Ronin outfit.
After he disables her and has Maya at his mercy, Clint removes the hood and shows his face.
The Avenger wants her to know that he was Ronin and that she should stay away from his family.
Then, he tells Echo the one thing she doesn’t want to hear. Barton states that Maya’s boss, her uncle figure, wanted her father dead.
At this point, Maya pulls off a sneak attack and nearly kills Clint. However, a stray arrow stops her…one shot by Kate Bishop. Maya exits.
Soon afterward, she asks Kazi where he was the night when her father died. I’m not saying Kazi is guilty here, but he doesn’t have any sort of alibi.
Kazi’s so clearly devoted to Maya Lopez that I really, really hope he didn’t have anything to do with her father’s death. In the comic story, he’s human trash, though.
Meanwhile, Kate has – I kid you not – called an Uber as her grand escape from the Echo fight.
During the car ride, Bishop informs Barton that Yelena Belova was the woman on the rooftop.
Barton seems lost in thought for the rest of the ride and barely speaks to her as they walk down the street. He does symbolically give her an arrow, though.
Finally, Yelena tracks down the woman who hired her. Yes, it’s a woman, and yes, you can guess who it is – Eleanor Bishop.
The OTHER Big Reveal
Seconds later, she texts her new BFF, Kate Bishop. Even in texts, Belova calls her Kate Bishop. I love that.
Anyway, Belova relays the awkward intel that Kate’s mom is the murder-for-hire type.
Belova also texts a picture, which Kate shows to Hawkeye. She asks who the man is.
Folks, Eleanor Bishop is working with/for Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Oh, and Vincent D’Onofrio is the man in the picture.
We officially have a Marvel on Netflix character appearing in the MCU!
When Spider-Man: No Way Home debuts in theaters this weekend, I expect another one.
Dear Marvel: PLEASE bring back Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. I need this.
Back to the subject at hand: next week’s episode sets up confirmation that Eleanor Bishop is evil, Kingpin is back, Maya Lopez is betrayed, and a showdown is coming between Clint Barton and Yelena Belova.
Most importantly, Kate Bishop is ready to ascend to the title of Hawkeye.
Episode 1-5 is my favorite Marvel on Disney+ stories thus far. Pugh and Steinfeld mesh perfectly as a duo, and I’ll rewatch that Mac and Cheese scene many times over the years. A+++.